Saturday, January 3, 2009

My design proposal for The Department Of Culture

Here's Bill Wilson, writing at Get Liberty:

But now comes yet another cause du’jour that is both ludicrous and deathly dangerous all at the same time. From the editorial pages of the Washington Post and the New York Times has come the clarion call for an entire new Department of Government: a Department of Culture.
Now, seeing what has happened to education since the creation of the Department of Education, or the state of Housing under the guidance of that august agency, I can understand those who are a bit nervous about a Department of Culture. And well they should be nervous, if not in a downright state of panic.


Bill, I think you need to relax.

I'll admit that governmental goofiness in the public schools is creating a plethora of private academies and an exodus to the suburbs.
Government housing boondoggles have long been a corrupt landlord honeypot.
V.A. Hospitals are the warm-up act for the medical care we'll get if [the President-elect] is true to his word on socialized medicine.
People seldom use the U.S. Mail for anything vital. The Department of Agriculture never met a millionaire farmer that it didn't abolutely adore.
But a cabinet level Department of Culture could be wonderful, IF they would allow me to design the facility in which it is housed.
I want to design the place, inside and out, as a living, breathing symbol of government involvement in our national culture.
I want to model the facility along the lines of Chicago's Cabrini-Green housing project. I can't build an exact replica because the Cabrini-Green building won't sit still long enough to be properly imitated. That place has been morphing into various screwed-up shapes and sizes ever since the government realized they'd screwed up by building it in the first place. If you're not familiar with Cabrini-Green, here's Wikipedia:

Cabrini-Green is a Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) public housing development on Chicago's North Side.... At its height, Cabrini-Green was home to 15,000 people, living in mid- and high-rise apartment buildings. Over the years, gang violence and neglect created terrible conditions for the residents, and the name "Cabrini-Green" became synonymous with the problems associated with public housing in the United States.



Eventually, the Federal Government had to take control of the place from the Chicago Housing Authority. The Feds, leaving no crisis unexploited, are taking advantage of the situation by slowly tearing down Cabrini-Green. And rebuilding it. (Never do it once if you can do it twice for double the money.)

My architectural homage to the Cabrini-Green facility will never be finished either, symbolizing the constant re-birthing of Art and Culture. A statue of a giant wrecking ball near the entrance would also symbolize constant employment for all my contractor donors and buddies, which is all that matters.

At the top of the steps leading to the Department of Culture (D.O.C.), I intend to place a duplicate of this truly godawful statue from the FDR memorial.

You might remember some controversy about this sculpture. FDR went to great lengths to conceal his partial paralysis from the public (only two photos of him in his wheelchair are known to exist). But various special interest groups lobbied for the wheelchair to be included in any and all sculptures of FDR. Like it or dislike it, the result would horrify FDR.

Two years ago, as the controversy over the monument was fomenting, David Roosevelt said the memorial should not be ''a vehicle for making a social statement.''
But as Mr. Clinton noted today, 16 of Roosevelt's grandchildren have now called for a more vivid depiction of his disability, as have former Presidents George Bush, Jimmy Carter and Gerald R. Ford.

Hence the cape around the (assumed) wheelchair on this particular statue at the memorial. Art by compromise. You gotta love it.

So if my Department is going to advocate "vivid depictions of disabilities", I want to have another statue in the rotunda of the D.O.C. to vividly depict the disabilities endured by Clinton, Bush, Carter and Ford.



After leaving the rotunda, visitors and employees will encounter the "Piss Christ" fountain, based on the government-rewarded artwork by American photographer Andres Serrano, which depicts a small plastic Christ On The Cross submerged in a glass of Serrano's urine. Serrano got $15,000.00 from the National Endowment for the Arts as a reward for producing this photo. The Piss Christ Fountain will be immediately behind the D.O.C. rotunda, eliminating the need for restrooms in that area, but slightly increasing the space required for the mop closet.


(Like many of you, I think $15,000.00 was too high of a price for a mere photograph. If Andres Serrano is going to have any more works funded by my D.O.C., he's going to have to fill the fountain first. The hard way. We'll provide him with plenty of water for, ummm, processing.)

As visitors leave the P.C. fountain, they will be drawn into the corridor of Lighght. Yes, Lighght.

"Lighght" is both the title and the complete text of a one-word poem by Aram Saroyan, for which Saroyan received $750 from the NEA, way back in 1970 when that was real money. But think about it. Lighght. Lighght.

So perfect.

That poem'll make you throw rocks at Shakespeare, The Psalms, or almost any limerick you can think of. Lighght. I'll have it on the walls. It'll be written on the floor. Lighght. Lighght.

In the midst of all the Lighght, I'll construct a small podium which will give two paragraphs of additional information about the Lighght poem. I don't have room to reproduce the text here, but hit on this link to be enlighghtened, and ghghet back to me after readinghgh. It's O So Serious, and very much worth the trip.

Look below. Very closely. Lighght is there. This is a signed and numbered silkscreened print of the lighght poem that you can purchase through The Paris Review. They don't list the price - they only give an email address to which you can send enquiries. It's available in a limited edition of 150.


Damn, I wish I had typed that.
Visitors ghghoing throughgh throughgh the ghghlass hall of lighght will be ghghiven a chance to ghghive ghghenerous donations toward fundinghgh more of Saroyan's work.
After leaving the hall of lighght, visitors will enter a vast network of administrative offices. There will be thousands and thousands of offices, so I will need thousands and thousands of government bureaucrats to staff these offices. Otherwise, I will be perceived as wasting office space (government waste is a BIG no-no at my D.O.C.) Plus, as the currently fashionable logic goes, this will create jobs.

Every office will have a flatscreen TV playing Ken Burns' series on The Civil War, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is an homage to the importance of Ken Burns' documentaries in obtaining funding for the National Endowment For The Humanities every year at renewal time. Without Ken Burns, the NEH would have very little except a motley band of performance artists who sing the ingredients of cereal boxes while shaving a gong with an electric razor. (I don't know if the performance artist shown below gets any NEA or NEH funding for his art, but when I open the Department Of Culture to the general public, this guy's going to play a role in the opening ceremony. I hope he uses a gong.)

Of course, no government ripoff can ever be fully funded without saccharine pleas that the boondoggle/bailout/subsidy/giveaway under discussion is "for the children". I'll have a large Children's Art Center near the exit of the Department Of Culture, fully equipped with modeling clay, fingerpaint, brushes, canvas, poster board, easels, drum sets, fighter pilot helmets, and toilets. After a long day spent touring the D.O.C., the little kiddos can create their own piece of American Culture !


The kids will have to pay a small fee to participate. They'll have to pay another fee to have their art considered in the Best Of The D.O.C. competition. And to have a shot at winning, they'll voluntarily make an additional contribution to each judge's re-appointment campaign. Therefore, I'm going to name the children's area The Rod Blagojevich "Pay To Play" Pavillion.

All guests and employees will leave The Department Of Culture through the base of a giant mural called "The Robert Mapplethorpe Exit".


So please write your representatives, and let them know that you're in favor of creating The Department Of Culture.
It's for the children.
pics from here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here.

26 comments:

NickM said...

The sad thing Allen is that your "challenging" ideas would at least get short-listed. If you're after a career change into the lucrative world of arts admin then this is your chance! Go for it.

Just one addition. How about a statue - a post-modern homage indeed to the Belgian* manikin pis - showing yourself urinating upon a taxpayer from a great height.

Oh and another one. In the UK failing Gov departments are rebranded so the Dept of Education was renamed Department for Education (rather than Dept against Education presumably). Department sounds so dull and pallocentrically categorical so drop it and propose renaming your fiefdom "fArts". You're in.

For this advice I expect a generous sum for the right to exhibit my up and coming performance piece - "untitled: man banging head repeatedly against keyboard".

*Europe of course is where the culture comes from. America just makes "Friends". Until Obama of course.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Nick,
Thanks for your suggestion, which will be taken under advisement.

re - the rebranding.... I see what you're talking about. Perhaps I could work out an acronym for the Department based on the phrase "Culture Remains A Priority".

By virtue of your frequent presence on this site, you are welcome to present the Performance Piece "untitled: man banging head repeatedly against keyboard". Due to regulatory requirements (put into place for your own protection and for the earth's protection) you must wear a certified crash helmet which can withstand repeated contact with the keyboard you intend to use. If the keyboard that your head is banged against is damaged or destroyed, you'll need to fill out paperwork proving that it's disposal won't create a negative environmental impact.

Dr Ralph said...

WS -- you post this stuff just to bait me, right?

The Nation Endowment for the Arts has long been a favored whipping boy for conservatives. Talk about beating a gong with an electric razor.

The DOD's budget for 2009 (at least the part they didn't classify) is $651.2 billion, including emergency discretionary spending and supplemental spending. This more than the combined defense spending for all other nations combined. By comparison, the 2009 NEA budget is $160 million.

For those disinclined to do the math, that's about 0.025% of the DOD budget. Or to put it another way, the DOD budget is 407,000% of the NEA budget.

By some estimates, the war in Iraq is costing us $341.4 million a day. Piss Christ is (if you'll excuse the pun) a drop in the bucket compared to this.

I have an MFA. Do I think the NEA funds stupid stuff? Yeah, sometimes. But the stuff I think is stupid is probably not the same stuff you do.

Tell you what -- in 2007 there were approximately 130 individual taxpayers (not including corporations). Your share of the NEA budget works out to about $1.25. Next time I see you I'll give it to you, so you can rant about something important.

Dr Ralph said...

...Okay, I should proofread a little more carefully. That final paragraph should say:

...in 2007 there were approximately 130 million individual U.S. taxpayers (not including corporations).

If it were only 130 taxpayers (darned loopholes), I'd obviously owe you a lot more than $1.25 for your share of the NEA budget.

My bad.

NickM said...

Dr Ralph,
Another way of looking at it is... How that money skews the total spend on the "Arts" which is of course a much smaller overall spend.

As a Brit I have no dog in this fight but our own beloved Arts Council sounds very similar to your (admittedly more phallic sounding) National Endowment for the arts. The thing is within the context of the Arts this is a significant quantity of cash and it's all for leftist courses and/or utter bollocks.

It skews the entire "Arts Establishment". Some of this goes to the people who decide what goes in galleries and the like...

It's all part of establishing the progressive hegemony within institutionss whether they be art galleries or universities.

See the problem? This is not about giving broke but aspiring artists a level playing field. Not unless they conform to the orthodoxy anyway. It is in a very real sense conservative...

Oh, and Allen wants his $1.25 back.



Did Shakespeare need this? Or Warhol?

Dr Ralph said...

NickM -- believe it or not, I'm so close to agreeing with you. But not completely.

Despite my pretensions, my formal training is as a visual artist: I've got an MFA and BFA in painting. The sort of art I do is never, ever going to be funded, because my work is hopelessly out of fashion. So you'd think I'd want to kill this whole funding thing.

But I don't. Because funding the arts (even if it doesn't help me directly) creates a climate in which the arts are seen as important and deserving of support by the public, regardless of whether it's by the government purse or private means.

I think the idea that the Art Establishment is full of whiny leftists is a myth perpetrated by the Roves/Limbaughs/Murdochs of this world for their own political agenda. Talk about bollocks...

Quite frankly, little of that public funding even goes to visual artists. The vast majority of it goes to the performing arts and the like. As a visual artist, I've got a pretty low overhead. Not so with symphony orchestras, theatrical troupes and ballet companies.

Every arts organization that goes under for financial reasons leaves behind a community that is poorer for it.

There are many in this country who see the arts as a luxury; something we can do without. I disagree: a society without a rich and vibrant arts culture is one that has already begun to die.

NickM said...

Because funding the arts (even if it doesn't help me directly) creates a climate in which the arts are seen as important...

Disagree. It creates a climate in which the Arts are seen as something that can be left to the gubbermint - i.e. someone else. It creates a climate in which the tabloids can mock new work because it cost as much as kidney machine or whatever...

I think the idea that the Art Establishment is full of whiny leftists is a myth...

Diagree. Not my experience at all. Or that of my brother who works at The Baltic Centre Gateshead (Google it) and is also a visual artist - etchings mainly.

Every arts organization that goes under for financial reasons leaves behind a community that is poorer for it.

Wrong. Quite a few surely go under because they were useless. Just like companies.

There are many in this country who see the arts as a luxury; something we can do without. I disagree: a society without a rich and vibrant arts culture is one that has already begun to die.

Absolutely. But government funding for the Arts just keeps it in a Persistant Vegetative State. A truly vibrant Arts scene has to be able to stand on it's own two feet just the same way a truly vibrant car industry has to be able to stand on it's own four tyres. And let's face it if you can't get people to hang it on their wall one's in the same position as the Big 3 in the USA asking for bail-outs because nobody wants to buy their crap cars...

Subsidised Arts is like subsidised car-makers... The more cash they get from the gubbermint the more they can get away with producing utter crap.

Oh. And if I may be provactive. The real cutting edge of the Arts these days are computer games - that's what our age shall be remembered for - and they're not subsidised. Think the only truly genuinely original art-form since moving pictures.

Dr Ralph said...

NickM - Although I think we disagree on some key points, I've enjoyed the exchange.

I don't think the arts (visual/performing/other) should be judged by the same criteria as the auto industry (or Wal-Mart, for that matter). They have different goals and to judge them by the same gauge is ludicrous.

By your standard, Thomas Kinkade is our greatest living American painter.

Many times the impact a piece of art has on a culture doesn't manifest itself immediately or even within a generation. What good were you or I when we were first born?

As to the attitude all arts organizations are leftist mouthpieces, I can't speak for your situation in the U.K. but I can tell you that the dodge of portraying the art establishment as a bunch of out of touch radicals is an old one. Read up on how the Nazis vilified some of this century's greatest artists as degenerates. Rupert Murdoch and his right-wing propagandists have nothing on Herr Goebbels.

As to video games...yes, there are some amazing things happening in that realm. I find it interesting most of this seems to be servicing the illusion of killing things. Sadly this may reveal more about our culture than anything else.

Anonymous said...

This comment is for the original author, the Whited Sepulchre.
Where do you get the energy to go on and on and on and on? I dont have the energy to read all of this.

By the way, that billboard is on 121 exactly at Beach St. Get one of your drivers to take a pic.
Dr. Liz

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Dr Liz,
You're not the first person to tell me that ! (Hello Black side/White side)
But I'm not writing for readers in "here and now".
I'm providing fodder for doctoral dissertations and grad students in the year 2150 who want to study attitudes toward government waste, theft, and fraud in the year 2009.

Nick M said...

Dr Ralph,
I knew the "Arts shouldn't be judged the same way as consumer goods" line would turn-up sooner or later. No they shouldn't and people by either for different reasons. Nobody ever bought a sculpture on the basis of it's gas mileage. But the same criterion of whether someone (anyone) actually likes it or not should apply.

If you scribble away and nobody likes it then, you, know it's much the same as Ford making the Edsel. It's a something which no-one wants.

As to Thomas Kinkade (Painter of Light or whatever) then... Of course he isn't great. I am not rating art by it's monetary value or how rich the artist is. That's ludicrous. All I'm saying is that if you can't make a living out of art then don't bloody expect the tax-payer to fund it. I think you're falling into the fallacy that all us libertarians view everything exclusively in economic terms. Probably the picture in my house I love most cost 35 quid!

On the subject of "degenerates"... OK Murdoch is not "right wing". His (extensive) press in the UK was a big cheerleader for NeuArbeit. He goes with the flow just in order to maximise profits. He's a shit. I'll grant you that because he will cosy up to whatever is expedient in order to peddle his media-wares.

Oh and you do appreciate you have invoked Godwin's Law ;-) so I'd best stop.

I too have enjoyed locking horns with you. Come on over and Count some Cats sometime. You will be most welcome.

Dr Ralph said...

NickM -- re: Godwin's Law. My apologies. Guilty as charged, and an insufferable breech of netiquette.

I have Counted Cats in the past and shall continue to do so in the future! Thanks and good day to you, sir!

TarrantLibertyGuy said...

Dr. Ralph... It's interesting reading your comments and learning more about you. I'm happy to hear you have a BFA and MFA in visual arts. I'm a big art 'fan' and would've been an Art History major had I found a way to make some cash out of it.

I really like modern/contemporary art - and most of the crazy stuff that gets the derision from my fellow libertarians and conservatives are the exact things I'll pay to see! And trust me, nobody hates Thomas Kincaid more than me (at least his paintings - he might be a nice guy).

With that said, it is because I love art so much that I want government out of it. For various reasons: First - there's quite a bit of the 'tragedy of the commons' type of effect when government funds art. That is, when nobody "owns it", nobody appreciates it. Nick M was right on when he said that when people see that the government is underwriting so many 'important' art programs, many see this as their ticket to not participate with their dollars. I believe this type of behavior can be backed up in a book I read recently called 'Who Really Cares'.

Also, when government gets involved 'bad art' occurs. I think communist propaganda art - and many of the depression era WPA-funded art projects are so dull, lifeless and frankly, dumb. When the Medecis of yesteryear and the Nashes and Guggenheims of a more modern era are involved - magic happens. Privately funded art with a free rein to the artists creates amazing things.

Lastly, many artists are unfunded by the government - make no money - but make profound changes in the way we take in art. And art for art's sake is a good thing. I would also like to congratulate you for the best pun of 2009... "Piss Christ is a drop in the bucket". That's why you have an MFA, my friend.

Lazy Slacker said...

I remember reading about Lighght in Neal Boortz's book. H-i-larious.

Dr Ralph said...

One final comment (non-snarky, I promise) and then I'll shut up.

Obviously some philosophic differences are at work here, but I'll repeat what I said earlier about the NEA being a favorite whipping boy. The Whited Sepulchre has used some of the usual suspects to fan the flames: Mapplethorpe (who died in 1989) and Andre Serrano.

Do I care for their stuff? Not particularly.

The problem is, people with a particular point of view to promote use them as the eternal poster children of all that is wrong with the NEA.

Should we fund the arts?

I say yes and you say no--fine, I can respect a difference of opinion. But why all the sneering?

I challenge you, if you've never done so, to actually go to the NEA website and take a look at where the money is going: arts education, dance companies, theatre troupes and musical ensembles, operas, museums to bring touring show, lots of outreach programs to kids -- the list goes on.

Drill down and look at the recipients and how much they got. Some grants were higher but the vast majority of them were in the range of $10,000 to $25,000.

A single F-22 Raptor jet costs $137.5 million and people are ragging about a $20,000 grant to a ballet company in Kansas City?

This is seed money, people.

Honestly, I don't expect to convert anyone. But I would like some folks get past their smug assumptions about what funding for the arts is about.

And finally, what's wrong with the FDR sculpture? I think it's an elegant, beautiful piece.

TarrantLibertyGuy said...

Dr. Ralph,
I hope you don't think I was shooting smugness in your direction! I really am happy to hear that you have an MFA in Visual Arts/Painting. I really do appreciate artists. So much, I hate to cheapen their contributions by giving them government funding!

I LOVE the Museums that Fort Worth has to offer - especially the Modern. I was thrilled to read that The Modern hasn't accepted any Federal Taxpayer dollars (at least since '03). I'm disappointed that the Amon Carter accepted $40K in 2007 to support a Charles Demuth exhibit. The Amon Carter is (interesting) my least favorite of the three FW Museums. They could've EASILY found another way to fund this than stealing it from me. Had I not been robbed of - let's just say a bunch of taxes - I would've been glad to voluntarily chip in! However, I didn't have any extra cash...

Demuth is a very interesting voice in American Art (Warhol, Hockney and Indiana owe much to him)... There's no doubt that there were other funding venues. The Modern and Kimball seemed to have found ways to avoid suckling from Uncle Sam's teat. Now, there's an idea for a subject for the late Robert Mapplethorpe's lens.

I really looked through many of the categories and found no reasonable use of my tax money (or yours, for that matter). I do however see more of a need, but not necessarily the value, in the high price tag fighter jet. Should (name bad guy country here) try to do us harm - that device protects us... as our Constitution requires.

The FDR statue is elegant... If he were a dancer. He was, instead, a wheelchair-bound president whose programs kept us mired in depression for many years. I say a statue showing him in a wheelchair would be more honest and could provide hope/pride for those who find themselves in the same station. Weirdly, I'm kind of OK with using tax dollars for putting a statue on top of a President's grave. If they deserve it.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Dr. Ralph, and Tarrant Liberty Guy, who for once agree on something, but are deeply and tragically wrong.....

Here's what's wrong with the FDR statue.

It's not a memorial to FDR. It doesn't represent FDR as he would have any desire to be represented.

It's a memorial to political log-rolling, backscratching, and compromises. You can't read the history of that statue and see it any other way. One faction wanted the wheelchair (which he went to great lengths to conceal) in every statue at the memorial. Another faction opposed it.

The debate raged on and on, and showed no signs of ending. Someone finally came up with a design that would make used of the wheelchair, but FDR would be in an unlikely Dracula cape, which would block view of the wheelchair from the front. His right leg would be spread way off to the right (difficult stance for a paraplegic) as if to say "Come and get some, Eleanor". This would block view of the wheelchair from the left.

This chunk o' metal represents a lot of things, but it doesn't properly represent FDR.

Dr Ralph said...

WS - first you get me all riled up with provocative prose, then you don't write or even send flowers.

Do I need a different mouthwash?

Re: the FDR statue. Why must the politics of the creation enter into one's perception of the final product? Didn't I once hear you mutter you didn't know much about art but you knew what you liked? I'm not even going to debate with you about anything else -- just this: must you deny me the simple pleasure of enjoying a piece of art?

That being said, considering your stated (low) opinion of FDR, I commend you for stepping up to defend his portrayal. It give me hope.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Dr.,
As stated somewhere or another in these comments or on the next post, I've had a harrowing week in Alabama, a state whose cultural accomplishments makes the FDR statue in question look like The Pieta.

I can't help knowing how FDR felt about his wheelchair. Read any biography and you come away knowing all the subterfuges (sp?) that were into place to hide the wheelchair from the American public. That factors into my dislike of the statue.

2nd factor: It's incredibly compromised, as stated above. The old definition of a camel as "a horse designed by a committee" applies here. One group wanted the wheelchair, others were horrified by it. So we wind up with compromised art.
There's a portrait of B.H. Carroll in the rotunda of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. (Carroll founded the place.) When the portrait was painted, it was acceptable for Christian scholars to smoke a pipe. Sometime during the Prohibition era, attitudes changed, and the pipe was painted out of Carroll's official portrait.
I defy anyone to walk past that painting and not think of B.H. Carroll's pipe.
That's how I feel about the FDR statue. It's not a memorial to the man, it's a glorification of polio.

3rd factor.... and I don't mean to invoke Godwin's law here.... Leni Riefenstahl took some beautiful pictures, and filmed some incredible movie scenes. But once you learn the background of the work, it's difficult to see them in the same way. Ditto for Wagner operas. Knowing the context of the creation impacts my opinion of the work in question.

Dr Ralph said...

WS - again, I commend you for defending FDR in this travesty of a portrayal.

That being said, regarding the "compromises" that went into the creation of this work --not to burst anyone's bubble-- but you don't think that happens with most large commissions where more than one person is involved?

Until the Post-Impressionists created the great myth of the iconoclastic bohemian, most successful artists, even the masters, were viewed by their patrons as little more than hired labor.

Less economics and more art history for you, my friend.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Doctor,
It's the very history of this piece that irks me.
Yes, I'm aware of what all the Medici's put everyone through.

But when the sole purpose and design of a piece is political correctness? You wind up with something like the FDR statue.

All he needs is a nurse's cap, and he'd look EXACTLY like Clara Barton.

Dr Ralph said...

Again, I think the FDR stature is an elegant, beautiful piece. I googled "FDR statue controversy" and this very post was the 8th entry returned. Not to denigrate this site, but that tells me reports of "controversy" are a trifle exaggerated.

Is this one of those right-wing radio things? If not, please post links so I can further educate myself.

What I did learn was that there was discussion over whether to add casters to the back of the chair (which are only visible if you crawl around on your hands and knees to the back of the statue). Otherwise, he's just sitting in a chair.

...A...chair.

Pretty wimpy, as controversies go.

Finally, as to whether FDR would be "horrified" over the depiction -- I think he'd be a lot more horrified by the efforts of some to promote the fiction that he somehow prolonged the depression.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Doctor,

I've instructed the Sepulchral Advisory Committee to remind me to slam artistic efforts more often. This is slowly becoming THE place to be for debate on politically correct statuary.

re: the Google rankings. There's another controversy in the news about the merits of Card Check and Secret Ballots. I'm sure you've heard of it. Put those words into Google, and see what you get for search results.....

For acknowledgement that there has been an ongoing debate about this statue, please check out this link from a conservative outfit that makes Rush Limbaugh look like Castro. They're waaaay off to the right of Barry Goldwater. It's the official site of the memorial, The National Parks Service:
http://www.nps.gov/fdrm/fdr/struggle.htm

(Seriously, though, I think most of what I know about this came from the Startlegram as the debate over the design was going on.)

If you like the FDR statue, and believe that it's an elegant, beautiful piece, you're entitled to that opinion. Could I interest you in some of these?

http://www.janicewise.com/hhobbie.html

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Doctor,
One other thing.... What did you think of my proposed memorial to Presidents Carter, Ford, Clinton, and Bush?

Dr Ralph said...

WS - re: your monument to Carter, Ford, Clinton, and Bush - as painful as that looks, it's amazing how often you see people doing it.

Since I designed Christmas nutcrackers for years, I gave up the right to sneer at tchotchkes like the Hollie Hobby collectibles. I prefer stuff like this.

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